It seems every month we see new marketing trends being published. This platform is on the rise; these apps are a must; and this content works best. It’s difficult for many entrepreneurs not to feel the pull to run after that shiny new trend, especially if it’s been on the rise for a while. You’ve got to keep up with this changing world, right?
While marketing trends are important to highlight to help us stay in touch with what’s new and fresh, there are other trends which need to be considered to secure the future of your business. These trends are based on the behavior and needs of your audience in relation to the world around them, as they see it and experience it. After all, it’s your audience that’s going to be buying, not the general public.
Let’s look at four areas where a marketing mind shift will help you connect with your audience for your business to thrive now and into the future, regardless of trends.
KNOW THY AUDIENCE’S NEXT MOVE
Understanding your audience has always been central to marketing, that’s not news. The difference now is how your audience is evolving. While we’ve seen the speed of evolution build up to a crescendo this year, we can’t separate a few years such as 2020 to 2022 and think that was a blip. It’s now essential to keep an eye on changes in your audience’s behavior as they continue to evolve in their thinking. You want to know if any changes in their world has shifted what drives them to take action so you can consistently make the best choices in your marketing. This allows you to stay relevant, attract your perfect clients and future-proof your business..
Moving forward, the way your audience views the world around them could very well be different “today” than they were even a few months ago. Of course it’s not enough to just know these things. The way you market to your audience is likely to need updating if your audience is going through a change in their thoughts, beliefs and attitudes to life or business.
And those who are able to tap into the psyche of their audience are the ones who get noticed.
GETTING ATTENTION VS ATTRACTING ATTENTION
Everyone wants attention online, it’s the big race to get more business. So how do you do that? After all you can post on LinkedIn and Instagram every day, be seen, receive engagement, but still not generate business.
The old method of consistently creating lots of content doesn’t work like it used to. Back in the day, just being consistent meant you could be seen as an influencer. Yes, sharing content is still essential. But there will always be someone in your industry willing to make more posts, more videos, and be on every major platform to get those eyeballs. It’s a race that leads entrepreneurs to burnout rather than results.
While you do need to be visible and consistent, the mind shift here is to switch from “here I am, pay attention to me” (or build it and they will come) to “what is my audience looking for right now?” This is where “know thy audience” comes in. Your audience needs to recognise themselves and their current needs in your content for them to be moved into action. They need to feel like “hey, you understand me!”
It’s through creating a focused strategy which links your messages to your audience’s current needs, that allows you to attract and engage. The key is to then translate that message in every area of your marketing, from your website, social posts, videos, podcasts, emails and every other touchpoint. This intentional marketing cuts out the busy work and puts you on the path of getting your message and business out to the right people, while being flexible enough to grow with your audience.
AUTHENTICITY, VALUES & INTEGRITY
Over the past decade we’ve experienced the rise of authenticity online. We see entrepreneurs openly speak about how difficult it is running a business while juggling other areas of their life. We see people creating videos in less than formal business attire. We also see post after post of sharing deeply personal stories which previously would have been kept private.
However now more than ever, people are closely examining those who they do business with to ensure the authenticity they are being shown is genuine. What people are looking for are underlying principles and integrity in the business.
The shift here means moving away from “let me show you how authentic I am,” to infusing your values into every area of your business. It seems weird to even say this. After all, isn’t this the way it’s meant to be? Yes. But if you’ve ever signed up for a webinar which alluded to being live, had to choose a time to participate and then been shown a replay, you know what I mean about authentic practices. Recently I received an automated email that said “Hey Angela, I’m in a meeting right now, but let’s set up a time to talk.” I mean… I had just signed up for their email list and it was the middle of the night in their country. A clear sign of B.S. means an instant unsubscribe.
Authenticity includes integrity in marketing strategies and activities. The rule of thumb here is that just because someone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s not slowly eroding their brand. A company talking about how they care for their customers while engaging in questionable marketing tactics doesn’t show alignment in values. How a business is run; the products and services offered; and how the promise is delivered to customers all matter and are noticed. Consistency in values and the business as a whole, strengthens a brand now and for future growth.
SELLING VS VALUE
One question I’m often asked by entrepreneurs is: How do I move people from consuming my content to taking the next step? Despite all the content and advice focused on this topic, it’s still a major issue for entrepreneurs. The answer is always the same: you don’t need to get people to do something when you give them a reason to want to do it. In this case, it’s not about the product or service, but the value your audience believes they will get from taking the next step with you.
To thrive and future-proof a business, entrepreneurs need to move away from marketing hacks that try to get people to do something and shift into providing value. There’s that integrity again! Pairing this mind shift of value with attraction helps your audience make the right decision themselves. There’s no need to wonder how to convince people to listen; keep watching; sign up to your mailing list, and so on. You are now compelling.
This mind shift isn’t to be taken lightly as it’s extremely powerful and works for all types of businesses. When your audience perceives value which is in line with their current needs, there’s no need for marketing hacks or hard sales tactics.
With any marketing you want to be forward-thinking and focus on the big picture. A good question to ask is: “How is this going to help my business now and in the future?” This question should help you keep on track while steering clear of tips, tricks and hacks used for short-term gain. It doesn’t mean your marketing has to take a long time to start seeing results, it’s quite the opposite. When you develop your brand and have a deep understanding of how your audience wants you to show up for them, you create an impact that puts your business in the forefront to connect with those who are your perfect clients. By being forward-thinking you’re creating foundations for your business to grow now, while compounding growth into the future.